Beldine Odemba on the touchline during the 2022 FEASSSA Games (Credit: Aisha Nakato)

Overview:

Passion and commitment are two key elements female football coach Beldine Odemba fronts when tasked why she ventured into football coaching.

She casts an articulate pose. She is immaculate, confident, smart, vocal, calculative and knowledgable about the beautiful game – Football.

This is Beldine Odemba, a 38 year Kenya female football coach.

In her office on the touchline, she minces no words, concentrated on the core tasks of work as issues instructions with eloquence more like the officers in a crowded control tower of a busy international airport.

Odemba holds a CAF “B” coaching license and has gradually conquered a domain that is predominately occupied by the men.

Highway SS head coach Beldine Odemba on touchline with a player (Credit: Aisha Nakato)

Passion and commitment are two key elements Odemba fronts when tasked why she ventured into football coaching.

“Football is my passion and one sport that gives me pleasure. I want to serve as a coach to give back since I also played the game” Odemba reveals.

At the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Association (FEASSSA) Games held in Arusha city, Tanzania, Odemba has been the head coach of Highway Secondary School.

With diligence, Odemba guided Highway SS to the finals of the FEASSSA football final.

At this very tournament, Highway had already defeated Kibuli 1-0 during the group stage.

She then produced arguably the biggest shock of the tournament in Arusha city, dumping out defending champions and favorites, St Mary’s SS Kitende 1-0 in a well contested semi-final duel.

St Mary’s SS Kitende technical docket was comprised of vastly experienced coaches; Edward Golola, Richard Wasswa and Ronald Ssali.

Beldine Odemba contemplates what to do next on the touchline during the 2022 FEASSSA Games in Arusha, Tanzania (Credit: Aisha Nakato)

She attributes the success thus far to the teamwork element from fellow members of the technical docket, players, school management and her daring fans.

“It has taken teamwork from my fellow technical personnel, players, school authorities, fans and well-wishers to progress this far. The players do their role and play according to my instructions. It is basically teamwork” she adds.

Odemba believes it is the right time female coaches are accorded respect for they have the credentials and abilities to lead football teams and clubs.

“It all takes special belief in yourself. Female football coaches have come of age and we need to share on the table of men” the former Mathare Youth assistant coach says.

Odemba issues special instructions to one of the Highway SS players during the 2022 FEASSSA Games in Arusha, Tanzania (Credit: Aisha Nakato)
Beldine Odemba during an interview at the 2022 FEASSSA Games in Arusha, Tanzania.

In the third place-play off, St Mary’s Kitende overcame Buddo 1-0 at the TGT stadium.

The girls’ third place match witnessed Dagoretti (Kenya) out-muscle Kawempe Muslim.

The final finale for the girls Uganda’s ambassadors St Noa Girls school win 2-1 over Kenya’s Wiyeta.

The 2022 FEASSSA Games officially climaxed on Friday, September 23, 2022 at the Shiekh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha city center, Tanzania.

Kibuli SS overcame Odemba’s Highway 2-0 with Dominic Ayella scoring his 4th and 5th goals of the tournament.

Besides football, over 3000 students from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and hosts Tanzania were engaged in Netball, Rugby (7s and 15s), Badminton, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Hockey, Basketball (3X3 and 5×5), Goalball (Blind), Swimming and Athletics.

U-16 football for boys and girls were also held for the second time under the primary school section.

Uganda won the overall title with 18 gold medals.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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